Socialist Worker

Anti-racists organise to take to the streets

by Ken Olende
Issue No. 2445

Marching on the Stand Up to Racism and Fascism demonstration last March

Marching on the Stand Up to Racism and Fascism demonstration last March (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Tens of thousands of young black and Asian people have been consigned to the unemployment scrapheap, new figures have shown.

An analysis of official figures has found that 41,000 black and Asian people aged between 18 and 24 have been out of work for more than a year.

That is a fifth of all the long term unemployed in this age group—and the number has risen by 50 percent since the Tories came to office. 

These latest figures are just one more reason why it is important to take to the streets of London, Glasgow and Cardiff to rage against racism this Saturday.

As the statistics were published, activists used a weekend of action to build for the Stand Up to Racism and Fascism demonstrations.

Campaigners leafleted Chelsea football ground last Saturday. A video emerged last month showing Chelsea fans blocking a black man from getting on a train in Paris. They chanted, “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it.” 

But on Saturday activists were joined by Chelsea fans who held up “No racism at the Bridge. That’s the way we like it” posters. Others leafleted Friday prayers at mosques, with many going to the east London mosque in Whitechapel.

Anti-racist campaigners have also been taking to the streets to argue against the scapegoating of migrants.

Priority

The Tories have made “controlling” immigration a top priority. They imply that this control would make ordinary people better off—but that is a lie. It does not benefit working people.

Disgracefully the Labour leadership have chased anti-immigrant policies and have made “controlling immigration” one of the party’s election pledges. 

Racists often complain that no one is allowed to discuss immigration— usually after discussing immigration at length.

But the stakes were upped this week as we were told that no one is allowed to discuss race in Britain.

The issue was raised by Trevor Phillips, the black former head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. 

He claimed in 2005 that Muslims were responsible for Islamophobia because they isolated themselves. He said Britain was “sleepwalking to segregation”. But studies since have shown that immigrant communities do not “self segregate”.

Phillips has kept up his policy of blaming the oppressed in his latest claims that it is impossible to talk about race.

In the Daily Mail newspaper he outlined the so-called “Ten True Things You Can’t Say” about race. One of these, according to Phillips, is that “white (and poor) is the new black”. 

He goes as far as to say that challenging this kind of racism has given rise to “angry, nativist political movements” like Ukip.

But anti-racism did not create Ukip. The racist party benefitted from the mainstream parties’ scapegoating of immigrants. 

To beat them we need a strong anti-racist movement. Get your union banner, workmates and join the marches this Saturday. 


Stand Up to Racism meeting in Sussex University

Stand Up to Racism meeting in Sussex University


‘We have to fight in unity’

 

 

Over 250 students packed into a lecture theatre at the University of Sussex on Tuesday of last week to mobilise for Saturday’s protests.

Carole Duggan, aunt of Mark Duggan who was killed by police, encouraged people to join the protests saying, “When we have numbers, we have strength. 

“We have to come together and fight in unity.” 

Maz Saleem, whose father was murdered by a racist, outlined how important the demo was in fighting Islamophobia.

Student groups including the Islamic society, the Afro-Caribbean society, and Socialist Worker Student Society organised the meeting. Afterwards over 50 students bought coach tickets.

Lewis Nielsen

 


If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.